Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike Slovakia's Great Fatra and Low Tatras mountains

Spend a full week hiking epic ridgeline trails in Slovakia's Great Fatra and Low Tatras mountains

Location

Slovakia

Fly To

M. R. Štefánik Airport

Perfect for

Beginner and experienced hikers of decent fitness, happy to hike for up to 6 hours a day for a week

Difficulty

Moderate

Why it's much better

  • 6 full days hiking in the Great Fatra and Low Tatras mountains
  • Stay in remote mountain huts and mountain lodges, far from civilisation
  • Hike the main ridge of the Low Tatras, considered the best ridge trail in Slovakia
  • Dodge the crowds with your local host guiding you along lesser known routes
  • Optional day of gravel biking and hiking
  • Hike to waterfalls and natural thermal pools
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed village of Vlkolinec

What's Included

  • Guides Expert, English-speaking local guides
  • Accommodation 6 nights accommodation in mountain huts, local hotels and guesthouses
  • Meals Breakfast and dinners included, except for dinners on day 1 and day 8
  • Transfers All airport transfers
  • Permits All permits and entry fees
  • Transport All transfers in between hike sections, plus 2 cable car journeys
  • Equipment Mountain bike rental included for the journey to Lake Temnosmrecianske
  • Happiness Guaranteed We're so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it
  • Feel Good Vibes We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects

Itinerary

Day 1: Hello Slovakia!

Your host will meet you at Bratislava Airport and transfer you to the town of Banska Bystrica.

Tonight you'll meet up with the rest of the group for dinner. There will be a chance to chat with your host about the days to come.

2 hours driving

Day 2: Begin hiking the Great Fatra Mountains

After breakfast, you'll be driven 30 minutes into the mountains to the start point of your hike through the Great Fatra Mountains. Not to be confused with the High Tatras, also in Slovakia! The Great Fatra National Park is well off the beaten track and a chance to feel immersed in nature. The area is populated by bears, wolves, deer and black grouse - to name just a few local residents.

Most of your hike today will follow the main ridgeline of the mountains, including the highest peak in this area: Ostredok. You'll also pass through vast meadows and some small forested sections.

Tonight, you'll stay at a remote mountain hut beneath Borisov Mountain.

Hiking distance: 14km - Elevation ascent 557m / descent 562m - Duration: 5-6 hours

Day 3: Continue hiking the Great Fatra Mountains

A big mountain hut breakfast, Slovakian style, will set you on your way for today's hike. You'll continue along the main ridge of mountains through Great Fatra National Park, taking in the amazing views in all directions. There are over 900 metres of elevation gain today, so get ready for some peak-bagging!

You'll finish up at the mountain hotel in Smrekovica, just in time for a sundowner or a Finnish sauna to soothe your limbs after a big day on foot.

Hiking distance: 14km - Elevation ascent 929m / descent 839m - Duration: 6.5 hours

Day 4: Hike to UNESCO listed village of Vlkolinec

Today sees the final route through the Great Fatra Mountains section as you hike towards Vlkolinec, a remarkably well preserved 14th century village. There'll be time to have a look around before driving on to Liptovsky Jan, your base for the next 3 nights.

Liptovsky Jan is famous for its small thermal springs. You'll have a chance to take a warm dip this evening, with the place to yourself after the daytime crowds have moved on.

Hiking distance: 13km - Elevation ascent 416m / descent 1046m - Duration: 5 hours

Day 5: Free day or hike to Lake Temnosmrecianske

Today you have a choice of activities. If you're ready for a recoup after the days of hiking, you can either take a free day to relax in and around Liptovsky Jan. Or, if you're a bit of an adventure junkie, head off for a hike to Lake Temnosmrecianske. The lake is at the end of the Koprova valley: one of the least visited and most peaceful places in the Tatra mountains, due to the relative difficulty in getting there. Not that this'll stop you!

To get there, first you'll cycle 9km along gravel tracks into the Koprova valley, to the highest waterfall in Slovakia, Kmetov waterfall. You'll leave your bike in the forest and start to hike towards the lake. Enjoy your peaceful time by the lake, with reflections of the High Tatras mountains in the water, before heading back.

Biking distance: 17km - Elevation ascent 375m / descent 375m - Duration: 3 hours

Hiking distance: 10.4km - Elevation ascent 495m / descent 495m - Duration: 4 hours

Day 6: Hike the main ridge of the Low Tatras mountains

Today begins with a cable car ride to one of the highest peaks in the Low Tatras mountains: Chopok (2020m). From here you will set off on foot, heading west, and spend most of the day hiking on the main ridge of the mountains. The ridge provides more amazing views and follows a route far away from the usual tourist areas of this region.

The trail you will follow is a short section of the most famous hiking trail in Slovakia, the spectacularly named 'Path of the Heroes of the Slovak National Uprising'. This 400km long trail crosses the whole of Slovakia.

Today is a tough hike with nearly 1500m of descent. Make sure those knees are ready for it.

Hiking distance: 16km - Elevation ascent 516m / descent 1476m - Duration: 6.5 hours

Day 7: Hike in Mala Fatra mountains and drive back to Bratislava

On your way back to Bratislava, you'll take a detour for a final hike in the Mala Fatra mountains. You'll take the cable car to get up and down the mountain for the start and end of your hike; you've earned the right to cut some corners by now! Again you'll take the main crest of the mountains, heading to the highest peak in the area: Velky Krivan.

You'll drive on to Bratislava, arriving around 5.30pm with some time left to explore the city.

Hiking distance: 11km - Elevation ascent 626m / descent 626m - Duration: 5 hours

Day 8: Farewell, Slovakia

Time to say goodbye to Slovakia as your trip comes to an end. Depending on your flight time you may have some of the day to explore Bratislava before your host takes you to the airport in time for your flight home.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

Accommodation

You'll be staying in a mix of local 3 star hotels, guesthouses and mountain huts.

Banska Bystrica

On your first night of the trip, in Banska Bystrica, you'll stay in a locally owned 3 star hotel.

Great Fatra

Your first night in the mountains will be spent at Chata Pod Borisovom, a mountain hut beneath Borisov mountain. This is one of your host's favourite places to stay in Slovakia due to the hut's remote and peaceful setting. There is no electricity here and no showers.

Smrekovica in the Great Fatra

On day 3 you'll stay at Granit Hotel in Smrekovica; a comfortable mountain lodge with a Finnish sauna to soothe tired limbs after your first couple of hiking days.

Low Tatras

During the Low Tatras hiking section (days 4, 5 and 6), you'll stay at Hotel Strachanovka in Liptovsky Jan, a traditional Slovakian Chalet in the mountains. Again there is a Finnish sauna, steam room and jacuzzi which is perfect to wind down after your full days' hiking.

Bratislava

Your final night of the trip will be spent at a centrally located 3 star hotel in Bratislava.

Private Room Upgrade

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for £135 per person (subject to availability).

Location

Velka Fatra (Great Fatra) is a mountain range in the Western Carpathians in Slovakia. The range is known for its high birch forest cover and long valleys. The Great Fatra has less infrastructure and fewer mountain huts than its more famous neighbour, the Tatras mountains, so the hiking trails are blissfully quiet.

Mala Fatra (Lesser Fatra or Small Fatra) is a national park in northwest Slovakia, around 2 hours' drive from Bratislava and home to some of the best ridge trails in the whole country. This area is partly famous for a connection to 'Slovenia's Robin Hood', the outlaw Juraj Jánošík, who is said to have prowled the hills and gorges of the Mala Fatra.

Vlkolínec is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a remarkably well preserved 17th century mountain village built on the inner slopes of the West Carpathians.

The Low Tatras form an 80km long mountain range in central Slovakia, separated from the more northerly High Tatras by the River Váh. This area is populated with numerous hiking and trekking trails to enjoy the sweeping views and wild landscape.

Meeting Point

Start Point

Your trip starts at Bratislava airport in Slovakia. Your host will meet you at the airport at approximately 15:00-16:00, so please schedule your flights to arrive around this time or earlier. Transfers are included if you arrive on the start day, so please let your host know your flight times.

Finish Point

Your trip ends back at Bratislava airport in Slovakia, where your host will drop you off in time for your departing flight. Transfers are included if you depart on the final day, so please let your host know your flight times.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel to/from Bratislava
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Dinner on day 1 and day 8. All lunches.
  • Drinks and snacks

You'll need good fitness levels for this trip. You'll be hiking for 5-6 hours on most days, with an average of 500m elevation gain and descent. There are 6 consecutive days of hiking, though there is the option of a rest day on day 5 if you want to recoup in between hikes.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Slovakian food staples include pork, poultry, cheese, pastry, potatoes, onions and garlic. Lentil and vegetable stews are common, as well as wild game, pasta dishes and stone fruits.

For breakfast, you can expect a continental buffet, so there is little bit of everything.

Lunches on some of the hikes will be special outdoor hiking food packs, which will be heated up on a stove that will be carried along the hike. Other days you'll take a packed lunch of sandwiches, snacks and fruit.

For dinner, you can expect a 3 course meal of soup, a main and dessert.

Vegetarians, vegans and food allergies can be catered for. Please let your host know in advance.

The Low Tatras and Great Fatra mountains in summer are relatively warm. From June to August the average daytime temperature is 12°C, but it can range from 8 – 18°C. It rains approximately 12 days each month, totalling 80mm monthly.

Spring and autumn temperatures are a bit cooler, ranging from 4 – 13°C, but it is also drier (just 60mm monthly) and the autumn colours are beautiful.

Not on this trip! As the hike progresses you'll be sleeping in 5 different places. Your luggage will be transferred to Liptovsky Jan on the 2nd day after leaving to start the trek. You'll be reunited with your luggage on day 4 and additional luggage transfers will take place for the rest of the trip.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

Our group adventures are adult only. However, if you would like to bring children along this can be arranged by requesting a private trip with the host. This trip is suitable for children from age 14 only.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but the norm means there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however, we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

Guide: 10-30 Euros

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Tap water in Slovakia is drinkable and will be available every day in the hotels. We suggest you bring a couple of reusable water bottles to fill up each morning. There is also drinking water available at the mountain hut on day 2.

Bags

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (35+ litres)
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack / drybags

Clothes

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear & socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals

Other

  • Padlock for left luggage
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellant
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle x1 ltr (2 of these if you have room)
  • Quickdry towel
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system

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Dates & Prices

Bespoke trips only

There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.

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